A Small Piece of Advice

When I was younger my mind was made for me, not necessarily by my parents — I was too hard headed for that –but instead by my peers: I had to go to college. By age sixteen, college was this ultimate plan of success, wealth, and happiness! Countless nights I spent studying for pointless exams, learning useless information, for a moment lasting no longer than a blink in our lifetime. My schedule consisted strictly of school, work, study, sleep for maybe three hours, then repeat. I promised myself with the limited knowledge I had on this concept of college I had yet to experience that it would all be worth it. For two years straight I put all my best efforts into an education that would be defined by a piece of paper in a fancy frame. For two years straight, I allowed a number between two and five define my intelligence.

When I graduated, everything changed. As if a switch had been flipped, I began “growing up”– whatever that means. My best friend moved from Texas to live with my family and I after six years of separation and yearly visits. The goal I had placed for myself was to move out of my parents house before I turned nineteen, and I did just that. But as I took on more responsibility I also began allowing myself to experience the things I didn’t do in high school; I’ll let your mind wander with that one. By late September, my best friend turned into my roommate. It’s by far one of the best decisions I’ve made.

As I worked full time and started college, however, I realized that not only was this lifestyle slightly difficult (but completely manageable), but also lifelessly boring. I felt as if I was getting waves of depression. This lifestyle I built, however proud I was of it, kept me too busy. {Now let me say this: I love being busy. The busier the better but this was more like clockwork. I felt no spontaneity, no excitement.} All the high school effort to attain those A’s and B’s in all AP classes was slowly slipping away. The person I was a year ago would have jumped into the future to slap the Now me. But in all honesty, the Now me would love to shake some sense into the Year Ago me.

Since I dedicated every waking moment striving to attain the highest ranking, I never found hobbies. I never really enjoyed those high school days everyone talks about. And as I’m completing my first semester of college, I realize I’m doing the same thing. The only difference this time is that I’m recognizing it. I want to be happy with my life, not miserable and depressed. I’m not dissing college in the slightest. My entire high school life was dedicated to reaching the place I’m in now. It’s just not what I expected and THAT’S OKAY!!! At first I was so nervous about taking a semester off. I felt as if people would judge me harshly for my decision affecting my life. But that’s just it. Its MY decision for MY life. Sometimes it takes a go at your goal to realize it really isn’t your goal anymore. It’s okay for your goals to change.

So that’s where I’m at right now. Nineteen, living on my own with my best friend, a few minutes from the beach, writing, working, and finishing out my first (and possibly last) semester of college. But with my decision, I’m happy. And ultimately as long as my belly and soul are fed, I think I’m doing pretty damn well for my age.

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